I condemn in the strongest terms, the decision of the Saudi government to execute Sheikh al Nimr and three young Shi’a men whose only alleged offences appear to have involved taking part in political protests and demonstrations against the Government. As you may know, the Labour Party opposes the use of the death penalty in every circumstance.
These mass executions, as well as other documented cases of human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, are a major cause for concern. They damage the long-standing relationship between the UK and Saudi Arabia which is crucial to the global fight against terrorism, particularly in countering Daesh. It is important that the UK government consistently reminds the Saudi Government of its duty to uphold basic human rights which include access to due process and a fair trial which, it is reported, were denied to Sheikh al-Nimr.
On 5 January 2016, I raised these concerns in the House of Commons and sought reassurances from the Government regarding the fate of Ali al-Nimr, the nephew of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who has been convicted and sentenced by the Saudi Government. They are confident he will not be executed but have pledged to continue pressing the Saudi authorities on this issue.
MP for Leeds Central and
Shadow Foreign Secretary